Politics 21 results
3.5Score

Norman finds second Gere

Movie review: Norman Taking on the role of a New York fixer in Joseph Cedar's modern iteration of the 'Court Jew' archetype, Richard Gere proves he's capable of suppressing his sexiness in service to a worthy, if pathetic, cause
3.5Score

Confirmation deserves second look

VOD/DVD: Confirmation Kerry Washington makes a compelling case as Anita Hill in Confirmation, an HBO original that proves more timely than ever as it disrobes the Supreme Court nomination process

John Madden hits home with Miss Sloan

Interview: John Madden on Miss Sloane The director of Shakespeare in Love says casting Jessica Chastain as a shrewd, morally ambiguous D.C. lobbyist was the best way to expose the ugliness of modern politics   By Katherine Monk WHISTLER, BC – John Madden doesn’t want to get bogged down by the F-word: Feminism has so much ancillary luggage, too many awkward hard edges to cram into the narrative anchovy tin called a feature film. Yet, Miss Sloane, the latest film from the Academy Award-nominated director of Shakespeare in Love points a laser beam at the modern female experience. A D.C.-set (Toronto-shot) thriller starring Jessica Chastain as the title character, Miss Sloane offers a close-up view of the lobbyist’s reality. Watching from a slightly distanced perspective, the viewer picks up the trail of professional lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane just as she embarks on a career move that will change her life forever. Madden was reluctant to give away too many details ...

The Day the Unions died – almost

Labour History: Social Credit's lasting debit What happens when an economically strapped general public elect a right-wing proponent of 'restraint'? Human rights, employment standards and social services get steamrolled by arrogance masquerading as fiscal austerity By Rod Mickleburgh Thirty-three years ago, the newly-relected Social Credit government of Bill Bennett brought down the most dramatic, yay outlandish, budget and “restraint” package in B.C. history. What happened next is detailed here in an essay I wrote a year or so ago. On July 7, 1983, Bill Bennett and his Social Credit government, freshly elected to a third successive term in office, unleashed a revolution in British Columbia. This was a revolution from the right. Fueled by the radical conservatism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman’s economic neo-liberalism, the Socreds took aim at all those elements in society they had never liked. With no advance notice, a total of 26 repressive ...

Is it too late to say sorry for Komagata Maru?

News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for racism Though many know the outline of an ugly chapter in Canadian history, the truth of the Komagata Maru is both an indictment of institutional prejudice, and a testament to the strength and pride of the passengers aboard the infamous vessel By Rod Mickleburgh At long last, a formal apology is being delivered in the House of Commons for Canada’s racist behaviour in its shameful treatment of Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru who had the effrontery to seek immigration to the West Coast more than a hundred years ago. Not only were they denied entry, they were subjected to two months of exceptionally inhumane treatment by unflinching immigration officers. While many now know the basics of the ill-fated voyage, the story has many elements that are less well known. To fill in the gaps, we can look to Hugh Johnston and his definitive book, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru. Just days before the outbreak of World War ...

Feeling the Vancouver Bern

Rod Mickleburgh: Bernie Sanders in Vancouver, Washington Tilting at the windmills of politics called Super PACs, Bernie Sanders seems perfectly comfortable playing the modern equivalent of Don Quixote By Rod Mickleburgh VANCOUVER, WASH. -- The 74-year old, white-haired politician advanced to the podium, and the roof nearly came off the Hudson’s Bay High School gymnasium. No wonder. For nearly four hours, thousands of us had been standing in line, braving a cold, miserable rain, without even knowing whether we would be among the 5,000 or so lucky enough to make it inside. Our little group, friends after sharing the miserable ordeal outside, scraped through by the skin of our chattering teeth, but the doors soon closed on thousands more. As the cheers continued to cascade down from the packed, rickety benches of the high school gym, Bernie Sanders leaned forward and shouted in his hoarse, Brooklynese. “All I can say is: WHOA!” The roar got louder. “It sounds to me like ...

Trump Stumbles Right On

Politics: Feeling Blue in a Red State As Republican rallies descend into racist violence and rhetorical chaos, right-wing talk-radio's angry baby of anti-government sentiment comes of age carrying a verbal assault weapon and a whole lot of attitude By Carla McClain OK, boys and girls, time to cut to the chase. Time to figure out why a once-functional nation like the United States of America is about to nominate for its President -- arguably the most powerful political office in the world -- a bloviating birther braggadocio blowhard, aka Donald J. Trump. How did we get here? What in the name of God has happened to us? That’s not hard to figure out.... Welcome to the fruits of twenty-five years of the highly effective brainwashing of a good chunk of the American people -- OK, let’s say it, the weak-minded sheeple among us, and there are lots of those throughout the human species --  by right-wing talk-radio. I happen to know how this got done because I -- unlike ...

And so it ends… with a bang.

Fiction: Mob Rule - Part 49 The family feud finally explodes in a hailstorm of bullets and foaming blood on the front lawns of Hyannis as Jack and his mob brothers storm the Kennedy castle By John Armstrong We got off the highway and headed toward Marchant Avenue, the road the compound lays on. Just before the turn for the long driveway I waved them to a halt again and got back out, standing in the street and directing the trucks down the road toward their respective “points of insertion”, as Beppe put it. Then I stood there looking at my watch. At two minutes to five, in the first misty light of dawn and the fog off the Atlantic still swirling around us, I got back in and waved our own group forward and into position. Then we waited again, listening to birds chattering in the trees. A car came down the road and slowed to see what was going on. Our driver pulled his gun from under his jacket and waved the driver through. Just as he passed, the first semi in our group ...

887: Robert Lepage televises the revolution

Theatre: 887 After decades of detouring issues of cultural identity, the veteran writer, actor and director creates his own confessional with 887, a new one-man show that revisits the minutia of memory By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC — Robert Lepage always looks a little uncomfortable up there, standing like a ten-year-old at the altar, hands forcibly clasped, waiting for some wafer-thin affirmation of self. It’s the reason why his one-man shows are probably the best in the world: He can manifest conflict just by standing on stage. The quake of insecurity. It’s deep: A black vein of that shimmers though his oeuvre and powers his creative locomotive, now many cars long, with a relentless head of steam. As a critic who’s followed his shiny train of thought for decades, I’ve always wondered where that dark seam started. And when I had the occasion of interviewing him, I would ask. Whence the duality? Is there a political element? And he would always remain ...

What makes a political campaign ugly?

Politics: The art of the campaign You know the gloves are off when someone makes a comparison to Hitler. It's already happened in the race for the Republican nominee, but Rod Mickleburgh reports it can happen anywhere when tempers flare and common sense is thrown under a campaign bus driven by fear. By Rod Mickleburgh Forty years ago this month, all these things really happened. The premier of British Columbia waited for the provincial election results with his wife and kids in a nondescript Coquitlam motel room behind closed drapes, the windows covered over by aluminum foil to discourage possible snipers. Plainclothes members of the RCMP prowled the corridors, making sure no one approached the premier’s room to try and make good on several anonymous death threats Dave Barrett had received. It was a fitting end to the nastiest, most laced-with-hysteria election campaign in B.C.’s long polarized history. The man under police guard was Dave Barrett. For the past ...